Among the concerns expressed by homeschool families were losing their right to participate in public school activities (sports, music, chemistry, etc), losing the progress gained in the last legislative session if the sunset clause is not removed, and angering the DPI into imposing more controls on homeschoolers. In addition to listening to the concerns of homeschoolers, the board took into consideration advice from HSLDA lawyers, legislators, and people with extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with legislators and legislative matters.
With these considerations in mind the board recommended that the legislative team pursue certain reforms. First and foremost, the team should endeavor to make permanent the change made during the 2009 session by removing the sunset clause. Second, they should work to remove the remaining wording concerning parental qualifications from section 15.1-23-03. This would remove all monitoring situations and would therefore automatically remove 15.1-23-06 and 07 on monitoring progress, reporting progress and compensation of monitors. This also requires the removal of 15.1-23-03.1 to continue to enable parents to home school without a high school diploma or GED without the monitoring provision. Third, remove the requirement of establishing a multidisciplinary assessment team for children who score under the thirtieth percentile (paragraphs two and three, under 15.1-23-11). This would automatically remove 15.1-23-12 concerning the use of a remediation plan to determine academic progress in a child who has previously scored below the thirtieth percentile.
The NDHSA Board voted unanimously to submit this bill on December 4, 2010. If this bill passes as written, it would move North Dakota from a red status to an orange status on Home School Legal Defense Association’s list.
This is not our first step, it is not our last step, it may not be a huge step, but I hope it is a step with which we all can live. Let us lock arms and hearts and take this step together.
Posted By: Andrew Bartlett, Webmaster